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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Nature of Decline: Distinguishing Myth from Reality in the Case of the Luo of Kenya
Author:Morrison, Lesa B.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Kenya
social status
regional disparity
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4486722
Abstract:Narrative is an important means of structuring and giving meaning to experience. While the resulting framework is incomplete because human beings choose only particular aspects to remember, narratives often persist and influence behaviour, often to poor effect. Considering this, the example of the Luo of Kenya is a cautionary one, particularly given African neopatrimonial understandings of State and society. Luo lore establishes the group as once elite and now in abject poverty, victim of a powerful and jealous Kikuyu enemy. This article explores the nature of this elite status, and the means by which group members have responded to particular indicators at the expense of others. This re-examination invites questioning of Luos' conclusion that they were, as respondents say, 'put out in the cold' from a position of prominence, a stance that has helped shape Kenya into ethnic rather than policy interests. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]